Institute to Develop Cybersecurity Hub for Manufacturing

The Digital Manufacturing Design and Innovation Institute will research cybersecurity threats to assist U.S. manufacturers in protecting their systems.

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The Digital Manufacturing Design and Innovation Institute (DMDII) announced the launch of a Cyber Hub for Manufacturing with seed funding from the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD). The hub will serve as a testbed for the creation and adoption of cybersecurity technologies to secure manufacturing shop floors across the United States.

DMDII is a public-private partnership as a Manufacturing USA institute sponsored by the DOD, with their goal being to advance digital manufacturing in the United States.

“The launch of the Cyber Hub for Manufacturing embodies why DMDII exists,” DMDII Executive Director Thomas McDermott says. “We need to think about securing our manufacturing equipment the way we secure our laptops, and the complexity of this issue means our partners will get there much faster by working together.”

The threat of cyber attacks against the manufacturing sector is complex and growing, the institute says. Manufacturers are connecting more equipment to the internet to compile and analyze data to make better business decisions. With increased connectivity comes a higher likelihood of a breach. 

“As the manufacturing sector becomes more intertwined with advanced technology, data and robotics, it is increasingly important that our manufacturers are prepared to face cybersecurity threats,” says Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL). “This new cyber hub will be an extension of DMDII’s innovative work of making America’s manufacturing industry more competitive and secure.”

To test cybersecurity use cases in a real-world manufacturing environment, the institute will work with its partners across industry, academia and government, as well as its 24,000-square-foot manufacturing floor. It will develop hands-on cybersecurity training programs and create online learning modules to serve the needs of smaller manufacturers.